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Big Beer marches on in London as Kirin buys Fourpure

In Uncategorized on July 9, 2018 by kmflett

Big Beer marches on in London as Kirin buys Fourpure

Other events may be catching the headlines but in the world of beer the announcement by Bermondsey brewer Fourpure that they have sold out 100% to Australian brewer Lion who are owned by Japanese giant Kirin is big news.

The announcement is here:

https://www.fourpure.com/blog/a-beer-journey

How things turn out we shall see but the tone and wording is markedly different to that of Beavertown when they announced a minority investment from Heineken several weeks back. Beavertown remain in control of their brewing operation (though that may not be easy in the face of Heineken). Fourpure fairly obviously do not.

You can make too much of these matters of course. It is not the 1960s all over again (yet) when takeovers reduced the number of breweries in the UK to under 100. Nor is it the 1960s in another way. Then the takeovers (and closures) were mostly larger breweries taking over smaller ones.

Big Beer isn’t really like that anymore. A quick glance at Kirin’s Wiki entry will tell you that although it is a major brewer it is diversified into a range of other areas as well. In essence it is just a very big company with global interests one significant one of which is brewing:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kirin_Company

Ive said it before but the words of Roger Protz in the introduction to the 2018 Good Beer Guide ring increasingly true. The battle for those who like good beer is not cask v keg or small craft v bigger company. It is a matter of trying to at least curb the activities of global companies who have an interest in beer production and sales so that a situation doesn’t arise where they dominate the market and smaller producers are squeezed out.

It happened in the 1960s and unless beer drinkers campaign and organise it can happen again

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